Places To See(LEH LADAKH)
(2740m), 204 km from Srinagar, is the second largest town of Ladakh.
It is also the headquarters of our destination, the district of Kargil.
A quiet town today Kargil was once witness to the most hectic bartering
among traders of different faiths and nationalities. Hundreds of caravans
carrying silks, ivory, carpets and precious stones to and from China,
Turkey, Yarkand, Afghanistan and India, passed through the town. Several
caravanserais, now rendered dangerous due to years of disuse, can
be seen in and around Kargil. Substitute travellers for traders and
Kargil's position as a resting place remains unaltered. Tourists to
Leh by road make a night halt at Kargil before starting on the second
leg of the journey.
town lies in the lower Suru basin. Two other rivers that meet here
are Drass and Wakha Chu. Visible all around are lush green fields
of barley and wheat, vegetable beds and rows of poplars and willows.
Kargil is famous for its apricots and mulberries. June presents a
rare sight of fragrant white apricot blossoms while in August, the
ripening fruit lends the countryside an orange hue.
Kargil, one can see some of the finest examples of Turkish architecture.
Day--long excursions can be taken to Mulbekh or to the Suru valley
to observe the grandeur of the Himalayan range from close quarters.
The evening can be spent profitably by walking along the river. The
ancient fort bridge across it gives a splendid view of the tiered
and terraced township sweeping down the hillside.
in the ancient bazaar might lead to a shop selling attractive flint
and tobacco pouches, travelling hookahs and brass kettles - handcrafted
items of everyday use which find their way into the mart as curios.
Pashmina shawls, cloth paintings using Buddhist themes and symbols,
and turquoise can be bought here at bargain prices. And who knows,
perchance, you may brush shoulders with one of the Minaros (or Brokpas),
a tribe that claims descent from the army of Alexander of Macedonia.
45 km east of Kargil on the road to Leh, Mulbekh (3230m) is a typical
Buddhist village. The village and the surrounding valley take their
name from a small watercourse which originates in the Zanskar range
and meets the Suru river at Kargil. Many monuments of the early Buddhist
era dot the landscape and are accessible from the village.
chief attraction of Mulbekh is a 9-metre rock sculpture in deep relief
of Maitreya, the Future Buddha. Its execution combines esoteric Shaivite
symbolism and early Buddhist art. Situated bang on the highway, it
dates back to the period when Kashmiri Buddhist missionaries came
travelling east of the Himalaya.
Gompa: Perched atop a rocky cliff, the Mulbekh gompa (monastery) dominates
the valley. It is easy to see why in bygone times this site served
as an outpost to guard the caravan route. Like all monasteries it
is adorned by frescoes and statues.
Shergole: This is a small village (5 km short of Mulbekh) right of the Wakha
brook on the Kargil-Leh road. Visible from afar as a white speck against
the brown granite, the monastery here literally hangs out of a cliff.
Rzong: This is a meditational retreat tucked away behind an amazing natural
mountain fortress. Concealed inside is a green circular valley with
a monastic establishment at its centre. The hillsides reveal caves
where high ranking Buddhist saints perform penance in isolation. The
only approach is a footpath laid through a narrow gap in the rocky
Important Places in Ladakh